SiriusXM NFL Radio host Jim Miller, one of three Associated Press voters who selected Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson as their first-team All-Pro quarterback, says he gave Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson his MVP vote but views the All-Pro vote a little bit differently.
For Miller, an All-Pro vote indicates the player is the best at his position in the NFL. Miller believes Wilson is the best quarterback in the league, thus Wilson got his All-Pro vote despite Miller’s opinion that Jackson was the MVP of the league in 2019.
“I don’t think voting Russell Wilson first-team All-Pro — recognizing his season — is an insult to Lamar at all,” Miller said on Glenn Clark Radio Jan. 7. “Lamar ended up being first-team All-Pro anyway despite my vote, but I saw it a different way. I respect all the other voters and how they look at it, but I look at it through a quarterback’s lens. I think Russell Wilson had to manage a lot more out there in the great Northwest than what Lamar had to manage this year, but I did recognize the great year that he had.”
Miller, a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1995-1996 and the Chicago Bears from 1999-2002, noted that Wilson led the Seahawks to an 11-5 regular-season record despite a Seahawks defense that ranked No. 26 in total defense and injuries to his offensive line and key skill position players.
Wilson was without his top tight end, Will Dissly, for much of the year after Dissly tore his Achilles tendon in October, and had a rotating cast along the offensive line throughout the season. Seattle also lost running backs Chris Carson and CJ Prosise late in the year, forcing the Seahawks to turn to Travis Homer and Marshawn Lynch.
Miller also mentioned that time and time again, Wilson led the Seahawks to improbable victories. The Seahawks won 10 one-score games during the regular season, the second team to do that in league history. This year alone, Wilson led four fourth-quarter comeback wins and added an overtime win in San Francisco in November for good measure.
With respect to come-from-behind victories, “Russell Wilson has outperformed not only Lamar Jackson, the entire National Football League if you go look at the statistics, and I appreciate that and I respect that,” Miller said. “First-team All-Pro acknowledges that you are the best overall at your position in the National Football League. I think Russell right now with where he is in his career, I don’t think anyone would argue he’s better in some areas that Lamar is going to get to.”
Wilson, an eight-year veteran who has started every game for the Seahawks since he broke into the league, is in the midst of one of his finest seasons as a pro. Wilson threw for 4,110 yards and 31 touchdowns on 66.1 percent passing — and threw just five interceptions — during the regular season. In the Seahawks’ 17-9 win at Philadelphia in the wild-card round Jan. 5, Wilson completed 18 of 30 passes for 325 yards (and a score) and rushed for 45 more yards.
Jackson, in his second year out of Louisville, threw a league-high 36 touchdown passes while engineering the top rushing attack in the league. Jackson ran for 1,206 yards, a record for a quarterback, and averaged a league-high 6.9 yards per rush, which helped clear the way for power backs Mark Ingram (1,018 yards) and Gus Edwards (711).
Miller explained that during training camp last summer, he asked Jackson in a SiriusXM interview what he had worked on to become a better passer. Miller remembered thinking Jackson’s base was too narrow as a prospect, which he explained causes a passer to overstride. Jackson’s mechanical tweaks have paid major dividends: his completion rate jumped from 58.2 percent in 2018 to 66.1 percent in 2019.
“I’ll never forget this,” Miller said. “The first answer, he said, ‘Well Jim, this is what I’m working on mechanically: I worked on widening my base, getting on top of the football.’ He gets it, and he’s going to reach heights and levels that are unbelievable. He already has, because he is going to win the MVP. And every time he steps on the field, he literally is the most talented player on both sides of the football of any team he faces.”
For more from Miller, listen to the full interview here:
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